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Sue Bush
More articles from Sue Bush

Spring Street Fire

By Susan Bush
12:00AM / Thursday, March 29, 2007

Firefighters attack a fire on Spring Street early this morning. [Photo by Sue Bush]
Williamstown - A Spring Street building sustained smoke, flame and water damage this morning and a town police officer is credited with discovering the blaze while out on patrol.

Subway Building Basement Fire

The building that housed a Subway sandwich shop was heavily damaged during the blaze, which was reported at about 3:52 a.m..

Police Officer Detected Fire

During an on-scene interview, Town Assistant Fire Chief Robert Briggs said that the fire was active in the building's basement and firefighters were inside the building attacking the flames. A town police officer discovered and reported the fire, Briggs said.


Firefighters enter a burning building during this morning's fire at 51 Spring Street. [Photo by Sue Bush]
Town police Chief Kyle Johnson said that police Officer Joe Ross was patrolling the Water Street area when he smelled a strong smoke odor and investigated the odor's source. Once on Spring Street, Ross noticed smoke rolling from the Subway building and immediately called for the fire department.

Ross's actions probably kept the situation from becoming significantly worse, Johnson said.

"He smelled the smoke and he tracked it down," Johnson said. "This could have been a lot worse. Officer Ross actions most likely kept the fire contained to the one building."

Several fire trucks and yards of water-carrying hose lined Spring Street as acrid smoke poured from the building and smothered the street with a thick cloud-like canvas.

Firefighters were observed entering the building from the rear, which is adjacent to the Purple Pub, and ladders were propped against the building sides.

Town firefighters almost immediately called for assistance from the Pownal Protective Fire Association in Pownal, Vt., and a safety team from the Clarksburg Volunteer Fire Department was called to the scene. Members of the PPFA were at the fire scene and provided coverage at the town fire station. Stamford Volunteer Fire Department firefighters provided coverage for the Clarksburg fire department.

As of 6 a.m., firefighters remained on the scene of the fire.

Gas and electric company crews were called to the scene to cut power and gas service to the premises.

Investigators from the Office of the State Fire Marshal have been called to the scene. During an on-scene interview with Briggs, he said that at that time, there was no fire cause determined but he noted that firefighters were still battling the blaze.

As of 5:30 a.m., there were no reported firefighter injuries.
The Village Ambulance Service was at the fire scene.
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